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Golden Sun: The Lost Age

by Billy Berghammer - March 5, 2003, 4:33 pm EST

See how the Golden Sun sequel is coming along with Billy's D.I.C.E. impressions.

Nintendo showed us a very small selection of new games at D.I.C.E., and one of the two new GBA games was Golden Sun: The Lost Age. I have played but not beaten the original Golden Sun, so I sat down with the Game Boy Player to begin a new journey.

The first thing Daniel and I did was test the connectivity using a finished Golden Sun game (Thanks Windy!) and a Game Boy Advance link cable. The transfer went through flawlessly, and I had hoped we could begin the game using the new information. Unfortunately, the save data doesn’t come into play until halfway through the game. But after checking out the massive amount of password characters you’ll need to input without the cable, it’s really nice to have the direct-link option.

After transferring all that data, I created my player with a new save slot and the quest began. Well, sort of. If you’re worried that by not playing the original Golden Sun you won’t understand the story, don’t be. The Lost Age begins with well over 20 minutes of back story and new drama before you actually get to the title screen. It took another 10 minutes before I actually got to control my character and get into a battle. You also can’t save during the dialog, so you’re forced to scroll through it. I think there were 2 battles before more conversation ensued. If all the reading and icon-emotions bothered you in the first Golden Sun, expect more of the same. The Lost Age could have an engaging plot, but it just seems like the game is trying too hard, and it literally got to the point where I got sick of reading and trying to care who’s who and what’s what. There is no reason cut-scenes and story elements should be as long as this…especially when 70% of what you’re reading is pointless banter.

For those who are still interested in this game at this point, The Lost Age begins right before the first one ends. You play as Jenna, just before the final lighthouse has been lit. After the lighthouse is lit, the part of the land where you and your party are on breaks off and drifts away. It connects to a new land mass, and that’s where the real meat of the game begins.

The visuals and audio are just as spectacular as they were in the first outing, but with more polish. The problem is, I was so bored out of my skull, it didn’t matter. Golden Sun has always had fantastic presentation, but the extremely long dialog sequences killed anything that’s good.

Camelot is a solid developer and one of my personal favorites, but I was extremely disappointed with The Lost Age after my short session with it. Reading things on the GBA for extended periods of time is a chore, but even with the Game Boy Player, it’s still not fun. In general, people play portable games in small increments and don’t have time to play for hours on end. I realize that RPGs have stories and plots, and that you’ll have to read. But taking 40-50 minutes (or more) to get to any RPG gameplay is ridiculous, especially for a portable system. On that note, if you liked the first Golden Sun, you’ll probably like this, because it’s more of the same. But for me, The Lost Age lost its charm after an hour of playtime.

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Genre RPG
Developer Camelot Software Planning

Worldwide Releases

na: Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Release Apr 14, 2003
jpn: Ōgon no Taiyō: Ushinawareshi Toki
Release Jun 28, 2002
RatingAll Ages
eu: Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Release Sep 19, 2003
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